Bronchial atresia

Case contributed by Associate Professor Donna D'Souza

Bronchial atresia with prominent air trapping in the left lower lobe. 

  • Note: This case has been tagged as "legacy" as it no longer meets image preparation and/or other case publication guidelines.

Case Discussion

Bronchial atresia is a developmental anomaly characterized by focal obliteration of the proximal segment of a bronchus. It is typically at the segmental or subsegmental level and most commonly occurs in the upper lobes. The bronchi distal to the atresia become filled with mucus and may form a mucocoele. The lung distal to the atretic bronchus develops normally but is overinflated due to collateral air drift with air trapping. Bronchial atresia is usually asymptomatic, as with this case found incidentally on the CT chest of a trauma patient. If symptomatic, it may cause shortness of breath, cough or rarely infection.

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